As you age, you’ll probably find that you have more time on your hands. Your kids are out of the house, and you may be retired or partially retired from work. It’s important to find ways to stay busy, though. Not only are hobbies helpful for passing the time, but they also keep you healthy, active, and motivated.
Here are eight hobby ideas for seniors
Exercise can be a great hobby at any age, and there are plenty of workout activities that are accessible for seniors. Older adults tend to be more sedentary than younger adults, so it’s important to find fun ways to get your body moving and elevate your heart rate.
Physical activity can help with chronic pain and sleeping problems, and it can boost your mood and clear your mind. Some seniors prefer to exercise alone, but others like joining a club or taking exercise classes to make it a social experience. You could try walking, swimming, or yoga for a low-impact workout, or you could take an aerobics or dance class.
Gardening is one of the most relaxing and rewarding hobbies for seniors. Working with your hands can feel very soothing, and it provides a direct connection to nature. You get to spend time outside and enjoy the weather in the spring and summer, too. Gardening is also great exercise and an effective way to maintain dexterity in your hands.
With gardening, you can see the benefits of your hard work. You’ll have a beautiful flower garden that you created with your own hands, or you’ll have home-grown vegetables that you nurtured yourself. The sense of accomplishment you can get from gardening is powerful.
3. Computers, Internet, and Social Media
Going online can be a fun and engaging activity at any age, especially if you spend a lot of time at home. You could play games, read news articles, or create a social media profile to check in with friends and family. If you’re new to browsing the internet as a pastime, ask a tech-savvy family member for help getting started. They may be able to recommend websites or programs you’d enjoy.
In this day and age, there are plenty of adaptive programs that can make computers more accessible for seniors. You could use a screen reader to read the text on the page out loud, or you could use voice-to-text software to transcribe emails or social media messages to friends.
4. Reading or Audiobooks
Reading is one of the most versatile hobbies. No matter your interests, there’s a book that will grab your attention. You can read fiction to hear a great story or nonfiction to expand your horizons and learn something new.
Audiobooks can be an excellent option for seniors, especially if you find yourself straining your eyes while reading. Many people find that listening to a narrator is easier and more compelling than reading the text themselves. You can even listen while engaging in another hobby, like walking or gardening, or you could entertain yourself with an audiobook while doing chores around the house.
If you spend a lot of time reading, consider investing in an e-reader. While it’s more expensive upfront than a traditional book, once you buy the device, you have access to a massive library of inexpensive works. You can adjust the text size on an e-reader for an easier reading experience as well.
Reading is better for your cognitive health than watching TV, and it’s a good way to wind down before going to bed. You could make reading a social experience, too, by joining or starting a book club.
Taking care of a pet is an incredibly rewarding and meaningful hobby. Pets provide structure and routine, which is good for your mental and cognitive health. Petting an animal is a great way to relieve stress, too. Pets can be especially helpful if you live alone. Having a pet brings more life and warmth into your house, and it gives you someone to interact with.
Adopting a pet is a major commitment, so it isn’t right for all seniors. You should only get a pet if you know that it’s the right fit for your lifestyle.
6. Artistic Hobbies
When it comes to creative endeavors, the hobby ideas are virtually endless. If you like visual art, you could take up drawing or painting. If you like art but struggle to come up with creative ideas, you could try adult coloring books. These offer more structure than freehand drawing, but you still have a lot of creative control over the end result.
If you prefer tactile activities, there are a wide variety of crafts that are enjoyable and accessible for older adults. Jewelry making, scrapbooking, and crocheting are some of the most popular crafting hobbies for seniors.
If you’re musically inclined, you could take up singing or learning a new instrument. You may be able to find a community choir or band in your area to connect with others who enjoy playing music. Listening to music can be an enjoyable, relaxing hobby for seniors as well. With the help of the internet, you can access an endless library of different artists, genres, and eras.
Board games and card games are a great way to spend time with loved ones while engaging in friendly competition. Strategy games are especially beneficial for your cognitive health, but any type of game can be a fun pastime for older adults. Many game manufacturers create large-print versions of their games that are accessible for seniors, too. Large-print playing cards are particularly popular because they’re so versatile.
8. Time in Nature
Simply spending time outdoors can feel refreshing and exciting. Being around nature can alleviate stress and anxiety, so outdoor activities are some of the most valuable hobbies for older adults.
Hiking, bird-watching, beach-combing, and metal-detecting are all popular hobby ideas for seniors. You could join a club dedicated to one of these activities, or you could enjoy the peace and quiet of nature on your own.
Tips for Finding the Right Hobby
It’s not always easy to find a hobby you love, especially if the activities you used to enjoy aren’t accessible anymore. The most important thing to remember is patience. You may have to try several hobby ideas before you find the one you like. Be open-minded to trying something new, and don’t give up if you don’t like the first few activities you try.
If you’re struggling to find your passion after retirement, think about what you liked and disliked about your career. If you liked working as part of a team, joining a club or organization may be a great way to stay busy in retirement. If you liked the creative aspects of your job, maybe a creative hobby would provide the same satisfaction.
Ask your friends or family for suggestions, too. Your loved ones know you well, so they may have some helpful insight into activities you may like. They can share their favorite hobbies with you, too. Even though you may not enjoy the same activities as your friends or family members, trying something new with a loved one can be a good experience.
Hobbies are a valuable way to make the most of your retirement, socialize with others, and strengthen your physical, cognitive, or emotional health as you age. Whether you discover new passions or devote your time to the hobbies you’ve always loved, you can and should dedicate time to yourself and the activities that bring you joy.
Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides therapy for older adults. If you or an aging loved one is struggling to feel motivated or engage in meaningful activities, counseling may help. We understand that traditional activities you used to be able to enjoy may not be possible anymore and we can help explore new options to promote enjoyment and quality of life. Reach out to us today to learn more about our mental health services for seniors.